For the July/August 2018 Issue I was hand delivering Motorcycle Times magazine to about 140 locations in PA, DE, MD, VA, WV, DC and DelMArVa, randomly picked from our delivery list. I like to stay in touch with our customers so I can listen to them and remain focused on their needs. This is the best method I’ve found, so it is what I do every couple of months. Along the way, I’ve encountered many useful bits of information ranging from closed stores to demolished and/or missing locations to new employee’s and even new owners and new locations!
It’s all normal and I wasn’t surprised, though in some cases there is a familiar sadness and the usual questions and wonderment’s accompanying a long established business changing hands or even just closing for good. This is another reason I put myself out on the road every so often. Our magazine was founded as a grassroots operation, literally being hand typed and physically cut and pasted then photo copied, manually assembled and then stapled in Jerry Smith’s living room. Through the years as Motorcycle Times has grown and weathered the industry and social changes, technology continued to advance until today Motorcycle Times is printed on state of the art computerized machines by an old and well established industry leader selected by me with a nod to their same grassroots tradition. Through the years, Motorcycle Times has kept pace with our industry while retaining it’s grassroots connections despite almost 30 years of expansions and contractions that created so many changes in our culture of motorcycling.
2019 is officially Motorcycle Time’s 30th year in production. This alone ranks us with the likes of Cycle World, Motorcyclist, Dirt Bike, and a few others in terms of longevity. Another thing we have in common with other industry leaders is that we are not a sugar coated, eye candy, bikini and chrome infested magazine…of which there is nothing wrong with and I myself will sometimes flip through one. Which is another big difference. Our customers actually read our magazines. There is a time and place for most things and our time and place is motorcycles and motorcycle news and events and motorcyclists and getting the word out. It’s what we’ve done best for almost 30 years so far.
And it’s what I’m continuing to do. In fact I’m doing it right now.
Email is always on or call me. Leave a message if I can’t answer.
So, some of our grassroots are in Clearbrook, Va at Winchester Motorsports. I pulled in just as they were closing down for the day. Not knowing me from anyone, or even why I was there, the new owners Mike and Melissa greeted me and showed me genuine hospitality. It was very refreshing to meet two people who weren’t in rush to just GET OUT of there and go home. As we talked it became clear that Mike and by default Melissa have experience in the motorcycling field and aren’t just on a buzz from new ownership. It’s nice to see a store change hands to other motorcyclists and not some faceless corporation that rotates clerks through it to keep the numbers up. It’s a grassroots store.